Things are still hard. I’m still having good days, and bad days, and the occasional mental breakdown. It’s about time to move again. We were supposed to move next Wednesday, but we might be putting it off a few more weeks, as the person we’re subletting from might not be coming back. Might. Maybe. Even though I’d like to stay here a bit longer before moving, all this uncertainty is getting to me. It might not seem like a big deal, but amid all of the other uncertainty and “stuckedness” it’s really frustrating and disheartening.
There’s not much that seems to help sometimes when everything gets so overwhelming, but having little things to look forward to, and to take my mind of off whatever is happening (or not happening) in the big picture does perk me up a bit. These chocolate cupcakes are exactly that. Even Andreas loves them, and he doesn’t have nearly the sweet tooth that I have. I’ve found that the people I’ve met here in general aren’t really big fans of frosting, but this one can capture anyone’s heart, and it has. It’s more buttery and rich than sweet, and the cupcakes are wonderfully fluffy and chocolatey.
Now, as I’m making my way through another rough patch, I feel the urge to make these today. These and soft pretzels…but we’ll see how far I get. The cupcake recipe is the base of these delicious-looking hostess-style cupcakes. When I baked them, they ended up perfectly domed on the top, and I decided they were better suited to a pile of silky frosting.
The buttercream recipe is the one my mom has always used that she got from her mom, and maybe that’s why these are so comforting to me. With buttercream, it’s generally suggested that you let it sit out for a while before serving, so it can soften, but I’ve always preferred it straight from the refrigerator, and so does Andreas. Something about the solidity of it melting slowly on my tongue is like a mix between frosting and ice cream, and brings me back to almost every birthday my family celebrated while we were growing up (which were many, because we were a family of nine!).
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1/4 cup (60 g) butter
2 Tbs. flour
2 Tbs. cocoa powder
3/4 cup milk (I used chocolate oat milk to make it extra-chocolatey and more Andreas-friendly)
1 tsp. vanilla (I use vanilla sugar)
Melt butter over low heat. Add flour and cocoa powder, then gradually add milk.
Cook until it boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Cool to room temperature (this is super important! I usually put mine in the fridge for a while) and then add vanilla.
Cream 1/2 cup (120 grams) of softened butter with 1 cup sugar. Add the “pudding” mixture and beat for about five minutes, until it reaches a nice spreadable consistency and all the sugar granules are dissolved.